When it comes to being a tenant in Northern Ireland, there are certain basic rights that you are entitled to, depending on the type of tenancy you have. Though all tenants do have the following basic rights that are important to know so that if they’re violated in any way, you’re allowed to take legal action if necessary. It’s also worth knowing that a tenancy agreement can’t take these rights away, and if they do, it’s illegal and your landlord could be prosecuted.
A Rent Book
A rent book is something that not many tenants will know about, but it’s something they should be entitled to receive. The rent book should be able to tell you what the landlord’s address and name is. It should be able to tell you the amount of rent you pay. If you have to pay rates and how much rate you pay and when you have to pay the rent required. This is all simple information that can be given very easily, and should you request it, your landlord is legally obliged to hand this information over. However, for the most part, you should know this information already.
Harassment & Illegal Eviction
You have the freedom as a tenant in Northern Ireland to not be subjected to harassment, whether that’s from your landlord or someone acting on the landlord’s behalf. This includes the halting of your electricity supply, entering the premises without your permission, and carrying out acts of violence.
When it comes to evictions, landlords aren’t allowed to illegally evict you which is defined as entering or attempting to enter your home without the correct legal procedure in place. These are both criminal offences and if found guilty, your landlord could face hefty fines or imprisonment. Your landlord should give you at least 28 days’ notice if they want you to leave the accommodation, and it has to be given in a written form.
Depending on the length of your time at the property, the amount of notice given will change. For up to five years it’s four weeks, five to ten gives you eight weeks and more than ten years gives you twelve weeks of notice.
Additional Rights for Tenants
It’s worth noting that there are some additional tenancy rights that started after 1st April 2007. You may get extra rights with regards to the length of the time that your tenancy runs. It could be to do with repairs, subletting, taking in lodgers, keeping pets, and passing on the tenancy. It’s important that whatever you do, you should always read your tenancy agreement to see what is and what is not allowed.
What to do if your rights have been violated?
If your rights as a tenant have been violated at any point, then it’s important to seek the necessary assistance both through governing bodies and through legal aid.
Renting shouldn’t leave you without protection, and it’s why the above basic rights are put in place. If you have concerns, then do contact your relevant authorities and perhaps get legal representation.
If you are considering legal representation, our team of solicitors at Harry McPartland & Sons have experience with resolving tenancy disputes. To speak to a solicitor today, get in touch via our contact page.